SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Mail-in ballots for the upcoming election are already being checked.
One ballot that hasn’t been checked yet and is still on her kitchen table belongs to Sacramento voter Judy Kanapicki, a volunteer at her local community club in Sacramento where the phones don’t stop ringing.
Whilst being passionate about volunteering, Kanapicki is also passionate about voting in each election. She’s been able to vote by mail for the last four years and doesn’t miss doing it in person.
“You don’t have to find a place to park, you don’t have to figure out where it is, you don’t have to stand in line,” she said.
Kanapicki isn’t alone. Sacramento elections officials said over 90% of voters in the county now vote by mail, meaning many physical locations barely see a soul. A major reason is the county was the largest block chosen back in 2018 to be part of the state’s pilot test for mail-in voting.
Jeff Nelson has been a full-time elections assistant with the county for more than a year and makes sure signatures on ballots are all correct. He said early voting is always slow going.
“I think in the mail yesterday, we got around 9,000, so that was pretty good for a Monday a week away from the election. No, not too surprised at how much we’ve gotten so far.”
There are over 860,000 registered voters in Sacramento County, and so far, less than 20% have taken advantage of mailing in their ballots.
Election officials said over 70% of voters in the county mail-in or drop off their ballots the day before or the day of the election, meaning final results take weeks to be released.
Kanapicki said she knows she should have posted her ballot already but has been prioritizing her volunteering.
“I look at it every day and say, ‘I need to do that.’”
And even though she’s usually eagerly awaiting results on Election Day, Kanapicki is thankful she’s not in line to vote as results come in, so she can use her time where it’s most needed.